Canadian Nature ~ Part Five: Ideas to Spend More Time in Nature

This month's theme for the Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team is to write five posts about something Canadian! 

I am choosing to focus on Canadian Nature Study. My family and I loved observing nature, whether it is in our own backyard or when we visit a park or nature trail. 

Over the years I have written many blog posts about nature study and at times it has been part of our homeschool routine. Nature has been part of our lives and has brought a lot of wonder and enjoyment to us. 

Over the course of the five posts, I will be sharing with you some of my favourites from my blog archives, with a focus for each post on a particular field of nature study. 

Previous posts in this series: 

Canadian Nature: Insects
Canadian Nature: Seasons
Canadian Nature: Wildflowers. 
Canadian Nature: Birds. 

For my last post in this five part series, I am sharing a few ideas to spend more time in nature. These can be for almost anywhere, not just in Canada. Take time to explore nature! Studies have shown again and again how important and beneficial a connection to nature is for us as humans, for all ages. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Go for a walk! 

We have lived in several communities over the last two decades and I've always been able to find a nature trail close by. Sometimes we were lucky to find one within walking distance to our home, but often within a very short drive. Ask around, google, visit your local tourist info centre (play tourist in your own city is truly a great experience!). 

On the trail near our home ~ March 2013

Often cities will have trails listed on their website. There might be a link to nature very close to you that you didn't know about. We moved to an area in Ontario a few years ago, close to many relatives. My children and I explored and found nature trails that most of my relatives had no idea about, even though they had lived in that city almost their entire lives! 
Bring some water and snacks with you and go explore! Nature trails can often be explored all year round. 

Nature trail at Green Gables, July 2012

A few links related to walk on nature trails: 

* The Magic of the Forest 
* Short Nature Walk 
*  Fall Nature Walk
* Walk in the Forest: First Snow
* A Day at Point Pelee National Park
* Moss & Lichen on the Trail  

Go to a park and do a nature scavenger hunt! 

Before heading to the local park with your children, print or make up your own nature scavenger hunt list. There are many available for free online. I've included a list. Once you have that printed, head out with a few snacks and water.  Even better, invite a few friends along! 

Nature Scavenger Hunt with Friends, September 2012
Here are a few links for printable nature scavenger hunt lists: 

* Fall Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt
* Nature Scavenger Printable with Pictures

Go camping! 

Canada has so many beautiful national and provincial parks where you can camp! Camping with children can be a wonderful experience and a great way to experience nature. I personally prefer camping with tents. Sleeping under the stars, exploring the campground, the trails that are often on's truly a great way to spend more time in nature. 

Sisters taking care of the camp fire, Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, September 2011

Check out the Parks Canada website for inspiration and maybe even to plan your next holiday. Each province also has their own provincial parks, many with camping facilities. 

Camping with our new puppy, Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, June 2009

A few links related to camping:

* oTENTik at Cavendish, PEI National Park
*  Camping near Lake Huron
* Parks Canada

Go geocaching! 

As my first two children got older, I found that geocaching was a great activity to encourage them to continue spending time in nature. It's a fun activity and many geocaches are hidden along nature trails. 

Adrienne teaching her dad how to look for the geocaches on the GPS, October 2014

A few links related to geocaching:

* Geocaching at Strathgartney Provincial Park
* Autumn Family Hike & Geocaching 
* Winter Geocaching in Victoria Park Forest

I hope you enjoyed this 5 posts series on Canadian Nature! Check out the Canadian Homeschooler for a full link up to more 5 days of Canadian (on July 29th) blog posts from the team!